The game between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers quickly went off the rails on Wednesday night.
As soon as the puck was dropped, multiple sets of gloves were dropped and fights broke out across the ice. Phillip Di Giuseppe, Colin Blackwell, Kevin Rooney from the Rangers and Garnet Hathaway, Carl Hagelin and Nic Dowd from the Capitals all paired up and exchanged blows. All six players were assessed five minute penalties and the game continued on.
Well at least for the next 49 seconds, when Capitals forward Tom Wilson and Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith started a fight of their own. When officials finally separated the two, Smith was sent to the box for 17 minutes.
When the first period finally came to a close, 100 combined penalty minutes were assessed in between the Rangers and the Capitals. At one point, New York had five players in the penalty box and Washington had six.
The penalty-ridden Rangers vs. Caps game came in the wake of Monday night's contest between the two East Division rivals. During the game, Wilson punched Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich in the head before throwing Artemi Panarin to the ground. Panarin left the ice injured and has since been shut down for the final three games of the year.
Wilson was assessed two roughing penalties, but was not suspended for his actions, much to the dismay of the Rangers organization.
"The New York Rangers are extremely disappointed that Capitals forward Tom Wilson was not suspended for his horrifying act of violence last night at Madison Square Garden," the Rangers
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 4, 2021
">wrote in a statement on Tuesday. Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these type of acts and we find it shocking that the NFL and their department of player safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend him indefinitely. Wilson's dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him for playing again this season. We view this as a dereliction of duty by NHL Head of Player Safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.
After Wednesday night's game, it's likely that both teams will need to issue statements addressing their actions.
The brawls slowed down in the second period, as the officials were finally able to get some semblance of order. The Capitals also scored three times and are now knocking on the door of their second straight win in New York.
Fans can catch the conclusion of the Rangers-Capitals penalty-fest on NBC Sports.